Writing our History:Digging our Past
Connected Communities

Creating a research resource

The John Player’s Advertising Archive has been in the possession of Nottingham City Council for more than twenty years but has only recently been made accessible for research.

The project to develop the archive began in 2009 as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, between the Department of History and Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

John Player's Advertising Archive

John Player Advertising Archive

The initial project catalogued thousands of show cards, counter cards, promotional materials and photographs.

The John Player's archive consists of over 20,000 objects from the Nottingham tobacco company’s history including original show cards, counter cards, original design work, packaging, photographs and business records.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project

  • Catalogued thousands of show cards and counter cards, promotional materials and photographs;
  • Involved former employees in events to capture their memories of working at Player’s. This resulted in a 30-minute film Player’s Past (available on YouTube) including reminiscences of working at Player’s and including images from the Advertising Archive;
  • Organised a workshop at the University of Nottingham in May 2011 on ‘Smoking, Advertising and Consumer Culture’;
  • Put on two exhibitions, one with a selection of photographs and artifacts at the Museum of Nottingham Life and one at Nottingham Castle on ‘The Art of Advertising John Player’s’.

Promoting Player’s: Smoking, Advertising and Consumer Culture 1960-1980

The project partnership has continued since September 2011 with further AHRC funding for a three-year Collaborative Doctoral Award held by Daniel O’Neill. The PhD project, entitled ‘Promoting Player’s: Smoking, Advertising and Consumer Culture 1960-1980’, also entails further work to catalogue the holdings of the Advertising Archive and to invite former employees to share their memories of working at Player’s.  


Writing our History: Digging our Past

For more information and how to get involved in our project please see:


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